Cuba Havana Gran Teatro 290231396

We invite you to participate in the unique opportunity to study abroad in Havana, Cuba. Improve your Spanish language and learn about the fascinating Cuban culture firsthand, while earning credit and exploring all this charming and captivating country has to offer.

Coursework will be supplemented by numerous cultural activities and excursions.

What's Included?


Pre Departure Services


APIConnect Platform

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

Social Networking


Round-Trip Airfare (Miami-Havana)

On Site Services

Airport Reception

API Center

On-Site Orientation



Medical and Life Insurance

Resident Directors

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities


Housing (breakfast and dinner included)

Language and Culture Tools

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation


Alumni Network and API Ambassador Program

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking undergraduate student and under the age of 25
  • Open to high-intermediate to advanced level Spanish speakers (with a minimum of 3 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent; 4-5 semesters for integrated courses)
  • Completed API application
  • University Approval Form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • One official transcript
  • Completion of an oral interview
  • Statement of purpose
  • Entry requirements: valid passport with student visa
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Extended Application Deadline Payment Deadline
Spring Apr, 2024 - Jul, 2024 $17,500 Oct 25, 2023 No Extension Dec 1, 2023

API students participate in excursions designed to help familiarize them with the culture and surrounding areas of their host city and country. The following is a listing of potential excursions for API Havana programs. API may need to modify the excursions offered in a given term due to travel restrictions or health and safety concerns.

  • Las Terrazas Day Trip

    Las Terrazas is a small pioneering eco-village, originally a reforestation project and now a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A self-sustaining community, with a hotel, shops, a vegetarian restaurant and organic farming, it boasts a canopy tour, the remains of French coffee plantations, and is a center for artists, and artisans of many kinds. Students will have the opportunity to explore this eco-village and learn about plant-based medicine from the local doctor.

  • Guanabo Beach

    Guanabo is part of Havana’s east beaches or “playas del este", a string of pristine beaches just 30 minutes outside of the city of Havana. These beaches are not known for tourist infrastructure, they only host a few Soviet-style resorts, but are rather a great place to see how the Habaneros escape the Caribbean heat and enjoy themselves.

  • Trinidad and Playa Girón

    Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site and now a major tourist destination, has preserved the stately colonial mansions and buildings remnants of its former wealth from sugar mills. In addition to visiting the town itself, this excursion will include a stop for the night at one of the south coast's best beaches and a view of the Escambray mountains, a strategic point in Fidel Castro's revolution.

    Playa Girón is a small seaside town and the site of the famous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. It is located in Ciénaga Zapata marsh, which is now a UNESCO biosphere and national park. The town of Playa Girón features a museum dedicated to the battle and rocky beaches with crystal blue water.

  • Cienfuegos and Hanabanilla

    Cienfuegos is a beautiful colonial city which is unique because it was founded in 1819 by French settlers in Cuba. It is now a UNESCO world heritage center and is lovingly referred to as the “pearl of the south”. We will visit the city, learn about its history and architecture, and then continue to Hanabanilla, a tiny town in the Escambray Mountains. We will travel across the Hanabanilla lake to el Nicho park for hiking and swimming in a series of waterfalls.

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 15-16 credits per semester

Students who want to study abroad in Cuba and focus on Spanish language studies, as well as Cuban culture, would be well suited to this program.

Students are required to take a Spanish language course (with other international students). This course uses the Cuban experience as a backdrop for language practice, discussion, and writing assignments.

Students can choose their remaining courses from a selection of offerings in the Spanish Department for Non-Spanish Speakers with other international students or from integrated courses with Cuban students. Integrated classes may be taken in the Departments of Philosophy, History, Sociology, Literature, and Art History. Students may also choose to take a Cuban film seminar with international students through the Foundation for New Latin American Cinema.

Courses are offered Monday through Friday, in both the mornings and afternoons. Coursework will be supplemented by numerous cultural activities and excursions.

  • Headshot

    Kayla Cole

    Kayla Cole will be your Program Manager and will help prepare you for your API program.


  • Amberly Ellis Rodríguez

    Amberly Ellis-Rodriguez

    Amberly Ellis-Rodriguez will be your Resident Director in Havana and a resource for you on-site.

Click Here to Find Classes



Students will take a required Spanish Language course throughout the term. This course uses the Cuban experience as a backdrop for discussion and writing assignments. This 4-credit course meets twice a week and is offered at the advanced level. Upon arrival in Havana, students will take a language placement test to confirm their advanced language proficiency. (If you are a native speaker or have near-native proficiency, you may not have to take this course.)


All students are required to take a multidisciplinary survey course in Cuban Studies and Caribbean Studies. This course is subject to minimum enrollment.


In addition to the Spanish Language course and the required Cuban Studies or Caribbean Studies course, students may choose 2-3 courses each term (in order to earn up to 12-16 credits per semester).


There are a number of courses available to semester students in the Spanish department for non-Spanish speakers (FENHI). These courses do not require the same level of Spanish as the integrated classes and are taken with other international students, not Cuban students. These courses will have FENHI in the course title to distinguish them from other integrated offerings.


The Universidad de la Habana operates on the contact hour system, wherein the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class. To determine the conversion of contact hours to U.S. semester credits, divide the contact hours available by 15.


Students receive a transcript from the Universidad de la Habana upon completion of their program. You may opt to receive a transcript from a U.S. accredited institution (Marist College) for an additional fee.

Courses at la Universidad de la Habana (Cuban and Caribbean Studies for Intermediate/Advanced Spanish Speakers Program)

For the most up-to-date course availability and class syllabi for this program, explore our Class Finder. Sort courses by term, area of study, and more!

Find courses, syllabi, and more!

  • Classes taught in Spanish
  • Transcript from U.S. accredited institution (Marist College)
  • Round-trip airfare (Miami-Havana) included

Students in Havana will live with other API students and, in some cases, other international students in a local residencia. An API Residencia in Havana is a renovated home run by a host family, near the University of Havana campus. Residencias have common spaces where students can work and where API holds group activities. Breakfast and dinner are also provided as part of the program fee.

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